Friday, November 27, 2009

Germany: general.minister and ass. minister resign over Kunduz bombing which killed civilians

A German general and and an assistant minister of Defense have resigned because they did not tell the truth about a bombardment early September on two fuel trucs which had been hijacked in the Afghan province Kunduz by the Taliban. The trucs got stuck in the mud of a river bank. The Taliban first asked local villagers to help them to get the trucks moving again, and when that did not succeed they abandoned the trucks and told the villagers to help themselves to the fuel.
What the German authorities apparently told parliament is that the people killed in the attack where all members of the Taliban. What they had on their desks, however, was reports of the Afghan government that 69 Taliban were killed as well as 30 villagers. After the tabloid Bildzeitung revealed this, the assistant minister and the general had to go, while the former minister of Defense, Jung, who has a different portfolio now, is under pressure to leave. [Update: also Jung, presently minister of Social Affairs, resigned on Friday].
What makes me angry is these numbers of 69 and 30 that the Germans  keep repeating. They were fake. As fake as the elections that kept Karzai for another five years in power. In Germany apparently nobody reads papers other than the German ones. The British Guardian went to the spot of the tankers and reported that only civilians got killed. Their number was estimated at at least 100 at the time. I mentioned that on my other blog, here and here. (See also Juan Cole's blog who repeats the number of 100 civilians as well).
The whole affair is illustrative for the way Nato countries operate in Afghanistan. Like blind elephants who want to believe that they are 'helping Afghanistan on its way to peace and security'. The peace of the dead, it seems.

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